|PASA's regions for buying locally|
As Brian says: "To recap very quickly, FSMA was signed into law in January 2010 and the proposed rules were released exactly two years later." There's a four-month public comment period, ending May 16th, to which PASA has contributed substantially, outlining the concerns of Pennsylvania farmers, CSAs, farmers' markets, and so forth. PASA partnered with agriculture groups like the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (click here) and many others in its efforts to craft the best possible legislation, but they're still seeking input from concerned individuals. The proposed FSMA regulations that affect us most closely are those governing PRODUCE (click here). There you can read the regulations in your copious free time (LOL), as well as comments that have been made thus far. Feel free to add your own remarks! (Just hit the "Comment Now" button in the upper-right corner of that page.)
On his own blog, "Write to Farm," Brian recommends you read, as a concerned farmer or consumer, his March 19th post (click here), "The Food Safety Saga and Why It Matters," which outlines some of the thornier problems that have cropped up (whoops, no pun intended!) in the last few years.
As well, PASA and its affiliates have organized several events in this region where people can meet and discuss the issues. The one closest to us is at the Exton, Chester County Economic Development Center (see here), on Thursday, April 18th; there is another workshop, specifically for cheesemakers, in Harrisburg on Monday, April 22nd (see here if you're interested).
Meanwhile, let's hope for a warmer spring than what we've had so far! Poor Punxsutawney Phil--it isn't his fault, yet now he's being sued (seriously) for being wrong!